Learn More About Our Community Partner: Care Ring

August 2023

Smart Start of Mecklenburg County (SSMC) recognizes that every family wants their children to thrive. However, we also understand that systemic disparities create challenges for many families, making it difficult for them to obtain the information and support they need.

Teen parents, adults with limited English literacy, families facing economic hardships, and parents dealing with trauma may require additional support to ensure their children are well-prepared for a successful future. Our approach is grounded in the belief that each family is unique, and as such, we strive to provide exceptional, personalized support tailored to the specific circumstances of each family.

To help close these gaps in accessing critical care and resource navigation SSMC partners with a wide range of programs that provide family support. Some of these include high-quality
home visiting programs which serve expectant and parenting families so that children are safe, healthy and ready to learn.

Care Ring's home visiting program, Nurse Family Partnership (NFP), provides the support, advice and information expectant mothers need during pregnancy and when the baby arrives.
The NFP program pairs pregnant clients with a free personal Registered Nurse to support healthy pregnancies, child health and development, and the economic self-sufficiency of the family. As part of the services provided, NFP nurses receive training in all forms of newborn and infant feeding to support families with whatever feeding choice is preferred. NFP nurses provide information on the benefits of breastfeeding and breast milk during the client's pregnancy. When the baby is born, the NFP nurse makes home visits to provide a convenient source of ongoing support for clients that choose to breastfeed or express breast milk. NFP nurses also provide information on legal rights to expressing breast milk in the workplace. Ninety percent of Care Ring NFP clients report breastfeeding initiation at birth.

SSMC is enormously proud of the partners who support local families with young children. To learn more about this partnership in honor of our 30th Anniversary, please click here.

Care Ring NFP has immediate availability to enroll pregnant clients. To refer eligible families or to self-refer, complete their web form, or call them at 704-943-9747.